Tuesday, November 17, 2015

October 26, 1898: Henry Ruffins

Today we learn about a lynching in Louisiana through the pages of The Oskaloosa Independent (Oskaloosa, Kansas) dated November 4, 1898:

Lynched for Taking a Negro's Part.

New Orleans, Oct. 27.—Information reached New Orleans last night to the effect that Henry Ruffins, of St. Helena parish, La., was lynched for taking the part of a negro laborer, John Armstead, who quarreled with a white man, Will Hutchinson. Ruffins was a white man and the lynching party was made up of white men.

An article found in the December 31, 1898 edition of the Richmond Planet (Richmond, Virginia) also covers a man being punished for trying to help:

We direct the attention of the rabid Negro-hating journals to the following item:

Charleston, S. C., Dec. 21—The entire property of Mr. Lanham, in the Republican section of Edgefield county, has just been destroyed by fire. This is near the scene and in the immediate vicinity of the assassination of Mr. Atkinson's wife and the lynching of three Negroes charged with the crime. Mr. Lanham argued with the lynchers and did all he could to save the Negroes. It is almost certain that the fire was of incendiary origin. If the guilty parties are caught a lynching will follow."

This white gentleman had endeavored to save these colored men from the fury of the ruthless mob, and this is the way he has been treated.

We presume that the Fredericksburg STAR will be ready to revise its statement, and acknowledge that not only ex-slaves are lynched, but ex-slave-owners have their property burned for endeavoring to protect servants.

There are good white people in the South and Mr. LANHAM is one of them.

This last article doesn't really connect in any way to the first two, but I wanted to put it in. It comes to us from The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio) dated May 4, 1898:



SPRINGFIELD, OHIO. May 3.—The race war of colored men against the managers of the traveling museum, exhibiting the corpses of two Alabama men who were lynched, was renewed this morning. The doors were broken open, but their nerve failed them. The museum was hastily packed and shipped to Dayton. Police were compelled to guard the place all night and acted as escort of the proprietors till they boarded the train.

Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.

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